Mrs. Paddington and the silver mousetraps A hair-raising history of women's hairstyles in 18th-century London

Gail Skroback Hennessey, 1951-

Book - 2020

A fictional account of the towering hairstyles that women wore in 18th century England.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Informational works
Egremont, Massachusetts : Red Chair Press [2020]
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Gail Skroback Hennessey, 1951- (author)
Other Authors
Steve Cox, 1961- (illustrator)
Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–4—This picture book tells the story of Mrs. Paddington and her elaborate hairstyle in 18th-century London. Mrs. Paddington needs a new 'do for the Moonlight Ball. Once she has decided on a design, it is up to her hairdresser to use sugar, beef marrow, and powder to make the style come to life. Mrs. Paddington must then maintain her over-the-top, towering coiffure until the ball. This includes crawling through doors, setting traps to keep the mice away from the sugar and marrow, and sleeping on a special pillow. Facts supporting the story are included throughout the pages. The humorous illustrations enhance the ridiculous lengths women went to in order to maintain their hairstyles. Students will be amused by the image of the fancy ladies crawling through the shop doors. VERDICT This is a fun book about a little-known topic. Purchase for students who will enjoy learning about what women went through to look beautiful in the 1700s.—V. Lynn Christiansen, Wiley International Studies Magnet Elementary School, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

History is full of fascinating stories of colorful characters, but some of the most interesting parts of history are really odd. You have probably seen scenes of government officials with their powdered white wigs, but in 1700s England and high-society in the American colonies, women created towering hairstyles. Decorations such as ships and flowers were sometimes added to their hairdos, especially if attending a big party. Taking hours to create, women used beef tallow and sugar-water to keep their hairdos in place. This fictional account explains a very real fashion trend and the problems it created for women trying to look stylish!

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A fictional account of the towering hairstyles that women wore in 18th century England.